Friday, 19 October 2018

Late night thoughts on endings


Long time no see, but I suppose that’s real life for you; it gets in the way and demands your attention.

Part of this thing has been sitting in my drafts for quite some time now, with me being worried whether it will read as too personal or not, but I’ve changed my mind. All my writing (and I feel that is the case for most people who write as well) comes from a very personal space. A thing has to mean something to me, if I am to write a public blog post or a story about it.

So, without further ado, let’s talk about endings. If you want the short version, I personally think they suck. But, the long version, well, it’s a bit more complicated.

2018 has been a year of endings; and I don’t mean just on personal level, I feel there were lots and lots of endings around me in general. Planned, unavoidable, unexpected, saw-it coming, they all sucked. 

[Edited to add: There are some things that make you sigh with relief once they end, but this post is not about those.]

Moving forward, endings have a sneaky nature; even the ones you saw coming, still catch you unaware, and you are left with huge gaping holes in your heart, trying to reset your entire life while wondering what the hell happened.

Last weekend, I stumbled upon a documentary about a woman who was involved in a project she loved for ten years; it took a lot of her time and work and then she had to step down due to a series of personal reasons. Having been involved in a project that ran for many years, I am well familiar with the “now what?” feeling you get once it’s finished, and how long it takes to get your life reorganized again (because, honestly, you suddenly have a huge amount of free time, and you have to figure what to do with it). I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have felt like, stepping down from something she loved dearly.

Still though, life is like a book; in order to get to the next chapter, you have to turn the page. And in order for that book to make sense, you can’t skip chapters. Even the ones that end on a cliffhanger, they are part of the story. They might suck, but they need to be there, and, eventually, they make sense too.

And the nature of life is such, that an ending will be, sooner or later, followed by new “wow” moments; which is simultaneously both great and sad. Great because you are growing as a person and having new experiences, and sad because the thing that ended, was, at some point, a “wow” moment as well.

On a closing note though, you must remember that as you work your way through your story, you carry those past chapters with you; keep that in mind and always remember the lesson they thought you. But, trust me, you will be surprised at how many things that supposedly ended, find their way back into the story again, in a new form. Because, surprisingly, some things are not meant to end, ever; and that’s a lesson too.
   

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

The problem is, we think we have time…

…and of course we do, but it’s limited. The moment we enter this world, a count-down starts for each and every one of us, a count-down we have no knowledge of.

We know nothing about the number of our days, and the only certainty in this life is that, eventually, those days will end.

But, the thing is, most of us, if not all, see that end as something very far, far away. But life teaches us, daily, that that’s not always the case; sometimes that end might be closer than we think it is.

For all we know, that end could come tomorrow, and yet we are constantly wasting time, forgetting about the important things.

Do we take good care of ourselves?

How much time do we actually spend on things that we truly enjoy and are passionate about?

How many relationships have we left damaged because of a misunderstanding or pride?

How much good do we contribute to this world?

Do people that are important to us know how we feel about them? Do we see/talk to them enough or are we too busy?

And do we like the people we have to see often enough to not consider it a waste of time?

So many important questions, and yet we are only reminded of them in the face of adversity; like I did.

And when pain and sadness become dull, I will most likely forget them again; like we all do, because we are amazingly adaptable like that.

We embrace our losses and move on; as long as those who live on remember, those gone never really leave.

Friday, 16 March 2018

You can be polite and still be real

I’ve been using the internet since its baby phase, where the connections were dialup and just one song took hours to download.

So I am well aware that sharing an opinion online, about anything basically, can potentially cause a lot of controversy and unnecessary drama, which both are things nobody wants and needs, but this is something I am honestly confused about.

Lately, on many different occasions, I’ve come across the following phrase: Say what you feel, it's not being rude, it's being real.

At first I didn’t think much of it, but as I was coming across it more and more, the more it got me thinking about it.  For me, the opposite of being real is being fake, and the opposite of rudeness is politeness, so I honestly cannot understand how being rude equates with being real.

In my opinion, rudeness has nothing to do with realness and these two should not be mixed up. People should not use realness as an excuse to be mean and offensive. True, you can feel any way you want about things; and, also true, you have the right to express those feelings. But you don’t have the right to express them in a way that’s offensive.

That is a choice you make. How something is worded, is up to you and you alone. You can be hurt, angry, disappointed, you name it, and still be polite. Bitter and mean words won't add anything to your realness; they'll only make you sound bitter, mean and pretentious. 

Additionally, once said, words can never be taken back. You can regret them, apologise for them, but no matter what, they will always have been uttered. And people may forgive you, but they will always remember what you've said and how you've made them feel.

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou

Take care, 

M.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Work hard, Play harder

What do you do when you are no longer enjoying something you used to love?

Firstly, make sure that's the case. Did you really stop enjoying so and so, or you just forgot how much you love it because every day burdens, life, work, washed away the fun element?

You took up so and so in the first place because you thought it was interesting and fun; remind yourself of that. You know yourself better than anyone, so the best person to get you pumped again, it's definitely yourself. 

But even if you no longer enjoy something you used to love, it's fine, stop worrying about that. We change, our taste in things changes, so it's only natural to drop some things as we grow, it's part of life. 

Secondly, having fun plays a very important part in our well-being, so make time for the things you enjoy, even if they seem silly, weird, childish, or no one else is interested in them; as long as it makes you happy and puts a smile on your face, it's great! Oh, and they should also be harmeless, both towards yourself and others, but for me, that goes without saying.

Thirdly, find like-minded people, so you can have fun (a.k.a. you can be weird) together. To an outsider you might appear odd (and that's putting it nicely), but you will be too busy having the time of your lives to care. 

And, lastly, try to always remember this: the rule is “work hard, play harder”, not “work hard, and if you have any time left, play”.

Until next time, 

M. 

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

On Goals and Milestones


Hello world!

I had a million ideas about today’s post, but after some thinking we’ll talking about milestones and bucket list items and everything in between.

I feel like most people have a number of goals they want to achieve in their lifetime; from things relatively small and unimportant to “I want to do something that matters” goals, most of us have them.

Places we want to visit, things we want to do, milestones we want to cross; everyone wants different things in life, that’s why not two bucket lists look the same. For instance, just because I want to go hot-air ballooning at some point, it doesn’t mean anyone else has to want to do so as well. And that’s ok, because we are all different.

Additionally, even the shared experiences do not have the same impact on people. Just because two people do something together, that does not automatically mean they experience the same thing.

Let’s just say I was to go hot-air ballooning with someone who’s afraid of heights (I do not know why they would agree to go in the first place, but let’s roll with it); would we be having the same experience? Absolutely not; I would be elated, they would be terrified.

What I am trying to say here, in an overly simplified manner, is that every experience is unique to every person. Everyone perceives things and reacts to a situation differently, based on who they are; their heart, thoughts, feelings, past experiences, they all play part in that. 

Have I mentioned that I love writing steams of consciousness? When I started the entry I had no idea my thoughts would be going down this road.

To be honest, the thing I had in mind to address today, despite this weird intro, was this: What happens after you achieve a goal?

Let’s make it a personal milestone, not something insignificant like hot-air ballooning, or something too significant, like winning the Nobel Prize for World Peace. Let’s say you achieve one of your personal, high-on-your-bucket-list, important, difficult-yet-not-unachievable goals; what happens then? Does anything change? Do you feel any different?

Well, basically, what happens is that at first you are happy you accomplished your goal, and then you move on to your next goal; oh, and you’ve picked up a few skills that will be probably come in handy down the road too.

You are still you, just a little more mature, a little more experienced, and a little more successful too. On that note, a little tip: don't spent too much time basking in the glory of your success, it might go to your head; just saying...

Also, what no one tells you is that, sometimes, success might not feel like success at all. There's a possibility that it will just feel like "meh". It sucks, but it can happen. 

My experience, well, it was complicated. Real talk, when I achieved my important goal, for the most part, I was confused; all this hard work, and effort, and sacrifices and I was feeling numb. Sure, I felt happy too, but that lasted for what felt like two seconds. And then I just was feeling empty; because after a very long time, I didn’t have another big thing to be working on, I was burnt-out and I didn’t know how to handle the situation. 

Don’t get me wrong, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat; I just wish I was better prepared for the moments I felt overwhelmed.

When you’re in deep waters, you can either swim or drown; I didn’t drown, so I am good.

Till next time,

M.

PS. No matter what, keep swimming!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Between Me and I

I feel like most people at some point in their lives have used the phrase “I wish I had known that back when I was younger”; I am guilty of that as well, so I thought I’d write a letter to my younger self just in case timetravel ever becomes a thing. And if not, people can read it and have a taste of my weirdness.

Dear sixteen-year-old me,

I really hope you’re in one of our moody phases when you’re reading this, so I can cheer you up!☺

Oh, who am I? Just you, from almost twenty years down the road. The future is looking great! But sadly, there are no flying cars or colonies on Mars yet. ☹

I already know for a fact you’ll love the person you turned out to be, but here are 35 things (one for each of our years on this planet) to always keep in mind:
  1. You’re still weird. Don’t worry, you love it!
  2. People think you’re funny. I feel that’s only partially true though; we are sometimes funny.
  3. Like pretty much all women in your family, you have great skin and you’re ageing gracefully. You should start using moisturizing cream earlier though.
  4. You love wearing glasses. The world would be really blurry without them.
  5. You won’t mind the grey hair on your head at all, but you will be loathing the 3-4 grey hairs on your eyebrows.
  6. At 35, you’re still an idealist. Because of that, you have been disappointed many times already.
  7. You are also very stubborn…
  8. …and have no sense of diplomacy.
  9. On that note, don’t wear your heart on your sleeve too much. Not all people have good intentions.
  10. To this day, you’ve kept all your promises.
  11. You have strong opinions on things, but you are smart enough to know who to share those with.
  12. Humour will be your most valuable piece of armour.
  13. You already know this, but dogs make everything better.
  14. Never feel like you are too old to try new things; trust me, you aren’t.
  15. You are very loyal, sometimes to a fault. There will be people that will read that as an invitation to treat you poorly. Don’t allow it.
  16. If you are at fault, apologise. 
  17. Your thirties are way cooler than your twenties.
  18. You are turning more and more into mum with each passing day.
  19. You hate endings. Sometimes they are unavoidable though, so don’t hold onto unhealthy situations.
  20. Trust your instincts and intuition. So far, they’ve only betrayed you twice.
  21. Right now, you own more than 500 books.
  22. Did I mention you also became a librarian?
  23. Oh, and guess what? You even wrote a book!
  24. You’ll grow to love Shakespeare, especially “Romeo and Juliet”; don't forget that, it's important.
  25. You will love travelling.
  26. You will become much better at photography; like, way better.
  27. As you grow older, you’ll become even more quiet and observant.
  28. Follow your heart, but always take your brain with you; cliché, but true.
  29. Never lose touch with your inner child.
  30. No matter how many times you fall, always get back up.
  31. Let me tell you, you have some great friends!
  32. If you don’t feel respected, leave.
  33. Work hard, play harder.
  34. It’s important to stay healthy; drink enough water.
  35. And, lastly, don’t forget to smile; it brings out your dimples. ☺

Love, you

Friday, 9 February 2018

Introducing myself

Hello world!
My name is Myrto and this blog’s been in the making for years! I’ll be probably be doing most of my writing in english, but there will be some pieces in greek on here as well, I am pretty sure.
So for my first post I was planning to write a silly/funny thing, something along the lines of “35 things about being 35” (inspired by my recent 35th birthday, in case you’re wondering), but it turned out way more serious than I intended it to, so I still haven’t decided whether I will be posting it or not. In all honesty, the only light-hearted thing on there was the fact that I am fine with the grey hair on my head, but I absolutely loathe the 3-4 grey hairs on my eyebrows.
Instead, I’ll be sharing a story with you that made me think and warmed my heart as well.
But first, an introduction: one of the (million) things I do at work, is finding content for our official webpage, which, as you can assume, requires lots and lots of internet searching.
In most cases, said searching happens at home, because 9.5 times out of 10, if I am at work and try searching for an article or a video or whatever, I’ll never get to finish it because something always comes up.
I never learn from past mistakes though, so, last week, I was at work and spotted a video on YouTube that seemed appropriate for our page. I started it, and just 2 minutes into it, an emergency came up and I had to deal with that first.
It was so urgent, that I didn’t even shut down my browser, and the video kept playing in the background; usually when I need to be focused I don’t mind minor noises, like people talking, so it was all good.
So I had MS Word open, typing away the thing I was supposed to write, when I heard the following phrase from the speakers: “My heart is unavailable to anyone else at the moment” and I am like: “What the heck? I had a video about libraries playing; were did this come from?”
So, I switch applications and realise a) that an hour had passed, so of course my video had ended long ago and b) that all my recent searches had created a rather weird (and interesting) playlist for me, and the video playing was ones of my recommended ones. Keep in mind that I search things for work, for my writing (like how a corset is properly worn for instance), for my Master’s thesis (so many interesting documentaries!), or simply for things I find funny.
I think I’ve drawn a pretty accurate picture of how random and weird my recommended section can look from time to time; anyway, I check the video and I see it’s 45 minutes long, and at first glance it’s just two (very young looking) girls talking.
Normally, I wouldn’t be watching this. I mean there was nothing wrong with it, the two girls seemed lovely and funny, but they looked 18 or so, so I don’t think I am their target audience. I mean, I am ancient compared to them; I turned 35 a week ago!
But that phrase had caught my attention, so I made a note on my phone to check it at a later point. I admit it, I was curious...

...but also completely forgot about it for almost a week. So, fast forward to last Wednesday; it was a very long and tiring day, so when I finally got home I had zero interest in working on neither my stories nor my thesis. I needed something to unwind so watching that video made perfect sense.
As it turned out, it was a live stream of two sisters answering questions from their followers, most of which revolved around whether one of the sisters was dating anyone.
And there were awkward moments, like when people kept pressing for an answer (but not in a mean way, it was friendly), and blushing cheeks, and heart-eyes (because clearly there was a guy, but she didn't want to talk about it, which makes sense for me; you may choose to share things on the internet, but some things are yours and yours alone); oh, and a very strong sibling bond too; her sister was lightly teasing too at first, but when the topic got too uncomfortable for her sister, she instantly went into ‘we’re changing the subject right now’ mode. Which I totally get; I can tease my sister all I want, but anyone else, leave her alone!
All and all, it really felt like eavesdropping on a sweet and funny conversation between friends and it made me smile quite a few times actually, in the ‘oh, I remember what that age feels like’ way.
After that, I actually ended up watching a few more of their videos too; and let me tell you, these girls are funny! I have a feeling my younger self would have been a devoted fan. :-)
From what I gathered, the girl that people kept pestering, is the louder sibling. But a phrase like “my heart is unavailable to anyone else at the moment” reveals a very sweet, sensitive person too. And,  being a loud (and hopefully funny) person myself, I think people are very often surprised when they see that loud people have a soft, quiet side too. 
When I started writing this piece, I had no idea where it was going; but that’s something I am used to. Most of the time, I start writing in order to figure out my thoughts.
I could not put my finger on why I found this phrase so appealing, but, as it was pointed out to me, that’s very close to my own view on romance (I quote: “That sounds like something you’d say, at any age”). I was like “oh” for a moment but then of course it made sense. My heart went out to that girl, because back in my early twenties I was very similar to her. And I still I am that person, just slightly more mature I think.
Because, see, that’s the thing with romantic relationships. If you have given your heart away, it makes very little difference to put an “official” label on that relationship. Titles like "boyfriend/girlfriend/taken/whatever else you want to call it" don't matter at all, when your heart is already taken. Of course, if it’s one sided, that sucks big time, but that’s a topic for another time.
What I am basically trying to say is this though: it was refreshing to remember how that age is like; and it was good to be reminded that as you get older, you gain experience and are better prepared for whatever life throws your way, but also that there will always be a ton of things that will leave you confused, no matter how much experience and wisdom you have.
Also, would you look at that; 1000+ words of nonsense as an introduction. Wow! If I could write this fast for my thesis, it would have been done six months ago. :-p
Anyway, I really hope you've enjoyed my ramblings.

Till next time,
M.
P.S. I will also be uploading some older pieces I've written and posted here and there over the years, so I can finally have them all in one place, so that will be a thing too.